Thursday January 23, 2020

Alzheimer’s Linked To Improper Sleep In Elderly: Study

Staying awake for prolonged periods causes tau levels to rise.

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alzheimer's, cholesterol
One hemisphere of a healthy brain (L) is pictured next to one hemisphere of a brain of a person suffering from Alzheimer disease. VOA

Poor sleep among older adults has been associated with Alzheimer’s, suggesting that good sleep habits may help preserve brain health, finds a new study.

Studying mice and people, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found that sleep deprivation increases levels of the key Alzheimer’s protein, tau.

And, in follow-up studies on mice, the team has shown that sleeplessness accelerates the spread of toxic clumps of tau, a harbinger of brain damage and decisive step along the path to dementia through the brain.

These study indicated that lack of sleep alone helps drive the disease.

alzheimer's, cholesterol
Poor sleep can predict Alzheimer’s Risk in elderly. Pixabay

Tau is normally found in the brain — even in healthy people — but under certain conditions it can clump together into tangles that injure nearby tissue and presage cognitive decline.

“The interesting thing about this study is that it suggests that real-life factors such as sleep might affect how fast the disease spreads through the brain,” said the researchers, including David Holtzman, MD from the varsity.

This study shows that sleep disruption causes the damaging protein tau to increase rapidly and to spread over time, Holtzman added.

To find out whether lack of sleep was directly forcing tau levels upward, the team measured tau levels in mice and people with normal and disrupted sleep.

Cognitive Impairment
Alzheimer’s disease patient Isidora Tomaz, 82, sits in an armchair in her house in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s predicted that by 2050, 135 million Americans are going to suffer from mild cognitive impairment, a precursor of Alzheimer’s. VOA

Findings, published in the journal Science, showed that tau levels in the fluid surrounding brain cells were about twice as high at night, when the animals were more awake and active, than during the day, when the mice dozed more frequently.

Similarly, disturbing the mice’s rest during the day caused daytime tau levels to double.

Much the same effect was seen in people indicating that a sleepless night caused tau levels to rise by about 50 per cent, the researchers discovered.

Furthermore, staying up all night enables people sleep more the next chance they get in addition to being stressed and cranky.

Also Read: Professor Offers Students Higher Grade For More Sleep

The mice too, rebounded from a sleepless day by sleeping more later.

Hence, staying awake for prolonged periods causes tau levels to rise. Altogether, tau is routinely released during waking hours by the normal business of thinking and doing, and then this release is decreased during sleep allowing tau to be cleared away, the findings suggested.  (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s How Belly Fat Increases the Risk of Heart Attack

Belly fat may lead to multiple heart attacks

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Heart Attack
Heart attack survivors who carry excess fat around their waist are at increased risk of another heart attack. Pixabay

Heart patients, please take note, here’s a new health news. Researchers have found that heart attack survivors who carry excess fat around their waist are at increased risk of another heart attack.

“Abdominal obesity not only increases your risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but also the risk for recurrent events after the first misfortune,” said study author Hanieh Mohammadi from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Prior studies have shown that abdominal obesity is an important risk factor for having a first heart attack. But until now, the association between abdominal obesity and the risk of a subsequent heart attack or stroke was unknown.

The research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, followed more than 22,000 patients after their first heart attack and investigated the relation between abdominal obesity (measured by waist circumference) and the risk for recurrent cardiovascular disease events. The researchers specifically looked at events caused by clogged arteries, such as fatal and non-fatal heart attack and stroke.

Heart Attack
Abdominal obesity not only increases your risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but also the risk for recurrent events after the first misfortune. Pixabay

Patients were recruited from the nationwide SWEDEHEART registry and followed for a median of 3.8 years. Most patients — 78 per cent of men and 90 per cent of women — had abdominal obesity (waist circumference 94 cm or above for men and 80 cm or above for women).

Increasing abdominal obesity was independently associated with fatal and non-fatal heart attacks and strokes, regardless of other risk factors (such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure, blood lipids and body mass index [BMI]) and secondary prevention treatments. According to the researchers, waist circumference was a more important marker of recurrent events than overall obesity.

The reason abdominal obesity is very common in patients with a first heart attack is that it is closely linked with conditions that accelerate the clogging of arteries through atherosclerosi, the researchers said. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and insulin resistance (diabetes) as well as raised blood lipid levels.

“Our results, however, suggest that there may be other negative mechanisms associated with abdominal obesity that are independent of these risk factors and remain unrecognised,” Mohammadi said.

“In our study, patients with increasing levels of abdominal obesity still had a raised risk for recurrent events despite being on therapies that lower traditional risk factors connected with abdominal obesity such as anti-hypertensives, diabetes medication and lipid lowering drugs,” she added.

Also Read- New Rule in USA to Allow Passengers to Bring Pet Animals on Flight

According to the study, the relationship between waist circumference and recurrent events was stronger and more linear in men.

“There were three times as many men in the study compared to women, contributing to less statistical power in the female group. Therefore, more studies are needed before definite conclusions can be drawn according to gender,” Mohammadi noted. (IANS)